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Minimum Wage: NLC begins strike in 18 states.


The union rejected deregulation of the downstream sector of the oil industry as long as it is import-driven, stressing that it negatively impacted on the welfare of the working-class family and the masses.

The Nigeria Labour Congress has directed workers in 18 states where the national minimum wage of N30, 000 had yet to be paid to immediately proceed on strike.


The congress said about half the 36 states of the federation were yet to conclude negotiations on payment of the minimum wage.

Findings indicate that states that have not paid the minimum wage include Imo, Rivers, Osun, Ekiti, Ebonyi, Kwara, Zamfara, Gombe, Rivers and Ogun States.

This was contained in a communiqué issued at the end of the National Executive Council of the NLC on Wednesday.

In the communiqué jointly signed by the NLC President, Mr Ayuba Wabba and General Secretary, Mr Emma Ugboaja, the congress stated, “The NEC also resolved to view the refusal to pay the new national minimum wage by state governments as demanded by the law as an act of criminality, betrayal of the oath of office sworn by state chief executives and a dangerous adventure in anarchy.


“The NEC-in-Session directed all states where the national minimum wage of N30,000 is yet to be paid to immediately proceed on industrial action.”

The union demanded a downward review of the template used in determining the pump price of petrol to stave off an imminent hike in the cost of the commodity following the rising price of crude oil in the international market.


It further urged the Federal Government to reduce the cost of gas sold to electricity generating companies to $1.5 cents as a means of driving down electricity tariffs.

The union rejected deregulation of the downstream sector of the oil industry as long as it is import-driven, stressing that it negatively impacted on the welfare of the working-class family and the masses.

It called on the FG to rehabilitate local refineries as a sustainable solution to incessant increases in the pump price of petrol.


On the electricity tariffs, the NLC asked the government to immediately address the conditions within its control that are driving up electricity tariffs.

It demanded a review of the power sector privatisation programme, since the law provides for one every two years.

“The NEC also calls for the reduction of the cost of gas to $1.5 cents and also the scrapping of the use of US and Nigeria inflation rates to determine the cost of gas to Gencos,” the communique added.

The NEC also admonished the government to do more in securing lives and property in the country.


The union resolved to picket the Corporate Affairs Commission headquarters for three days for allegedly trampling on workers’ rights.

The NLC also resolved to issue a 14-day ultimatum to the management of Turkish Airline and Caverton Helicopter to reinstate all sacked trade union executives and desist from further anti-union actions.



Jan. 2021: Labour make new demands


The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has renewed its commitment to fully and truly discharging its responsibility to the Nigerian workers and people in the year ahead, while acknowledging the criticism that trailed its activities and performance in previous years.

In its New Year message, the congress said beyond survival, Nigerians workers and people deserve better in 2021.

In the message signed by the NLC President, Comrade Ayuba Wabba, the congress said it appreciated the historical burden placed on its shoulders and “we remain committed to fully and truly discharging this responsibility to the Nigerian workers and people. Our unalloyed devotion to this call of duty would be renewed in the year ahead of us,” Wabba added.

He said in 2020, the congress took some flak from a section of the public; adding, however, that some of the misgivings were due to misunderstanding and mis-expectations on the role of labour in the contemporary industrial relations milieu.


The NLC President said: “While many perceive labour, especially the Nigeria Labour Congress, as the alternative army that can always unilaterally crush every adversarial policy and conduct of government and private sector employers, the truth is that the NLC is only a workers’ representative organization whose primary duty is to project and protect the interest of Nigerian workers through dialogue, consultation, negotiations, collective bargaining and in extreme situation through resort to industrial actions.

“Even when we are pushed to deploy this means of last resort, it remains only a means to bring the other social partners to the negotiation table for win-win outcomes. To insist on strike actions when the other party is ready to negotiate is not only a betrayal of genuine working-class struggle but also a capitulation to anarchism. Trade unionism is not exactly a subscription to anarcho-syndicalism. We are not anarchists.”


He pointed out that the NLC has always been a foremost pan Nigerian, pro-poor working-class organization; hence, the need to renew its commitment to this responsibility in the year ahead.

Wabba said: “This is particularly crucial given the fact that an organized capital under the pressure of economic downturns, as always, would want to have an easy pick of a sacrificial lamb from the stables of the working class. It is important at this point to reiterate that Nigerian workers and indeed workers all over the globe are no longer available as commodities of sacrifice for woes orchestrated by a greedy and overreaching capital.

“We will not stay duck to be picked by bullets of unfair redundancy, wage cuts, slave work conditions, unhealthy work environments and unbearable living conditions especially hyper-inflation amidst inflexible remuneration.


“Certainly, Nigerian workers and people deserve better in 2021 and the years beyond it. We deserve decent and living wages including the national minimum wage paid as and when due. We deserve an enabling work environment that satisfies the demands of 21st century occupational safety and health standards.

“Nigerian pensioners deserve prompt and adequate payment of their pension and sundry retirement benefits. Nigerian youths, the aged and the vulnerable among us deserve a sustainable social security scheme that provides meaningful support while unemployed, during sickness and at times of great need such as the current COVID-19 pandemic. In short, Nigerians deserve a full life.”

Speaking further on the congress demands for the year, the NLC President said: “Overall, we, the Nigerian workers and people, demand freedom from the shackles of economic strangulation, social turmoil, political tumults and the resultant widespread insecurity that has shaken our dear country to its very foundations. We demand an end to the insurgency of terrorism.

“We demand an end to the rural banditry spreading like Harmattan fire all over the country. We demand an end to the criminal commoditization of human beings by organized kidnapping networks. We demand safety in our schools, workplaces and worship centers.


“We refuse to continue to live as refugees in our own country. We refuse to be cowed into silence. We just want to be normal human beings again. We believe we are not asking too much from our government at every level.”

Sets agenda for the year

Following critical analysis of the previous years and in pursuant to the demands made for the new year, the President of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Ayuba Wabba, said the congress would be pursuing some specific industrial and social actions in the year 2021. These, according to him, include:


Campaign for decent work and protection of pensioners

In 2021, the NLC will intensify the campaign for decent work. Our drive will be steered by the four strategic objectives of decent work – opportunities for full employment, rights at work, social protection especially for pensioners and social dialogue. It is unfortunate that till now, some states have refused to pay the new national minimum wage.

“It has also been reported that some states that had signed collective bargaining agreements with our state councils on the payment of consequential salary adjustment and pension benefits owing to the new national minimum wage have started reneging on their commitment. In the midst of the prevailing astronomical increase in the cost of living, it would only be tantamount to a death wish on workers for any State to refuse or renege to pay the new national minimum wage and the consequential salary adjustment.

“Accordingly, we call on all our state councils still struggling with their state governments on the payment of the national minimum wage and consequential salary increase and those whose state governments have unilaterally cut wages and are owing workers salary arrears to prepare for mass industrial action and protests this New Year. Furthermore, we insist that the government must make possible the enabling environment that would foster job creation and full employment in line with the constitutional responsibilities of the state to ensure the welfare and security of citizens, he said.”


Prioritization of the security of lives and property

“In 2020, we witnessed some of the most audacious backlashes of the waves of insecurity in our country. Terrorists groups and cells of armed bandits overran large swathes of our lands, carving out domains of operations at great cost to citizens’ lives, limbs and livelihoods. Workers were not spared as many workers became victims of the outrageous bloody campaign by the agents of evil and misery.

“In 2021, we will fully unfurl our plans for a national advocacy campaign on insecurity. Part of the plans is to convene a multi-stakeholders conference on insecurity in Nigeria. Consistent with the provisions of Article 10 of ILO Convention 190 which permits workers to remove themselves from work situations that could harm their persons, we might be forced to ask workers to withdraw their services from workplaces that are not secured and safe”, the NLC President said.

Promotion of good governance

On good governance, he said: “a key preamble of the ILO Constitution which was further buttressed in the 1944 Philadelphia Declaration posits that there can never be sustained progress anywhere until there is social justice and injustice anywhere is a threat to prosperity everywhere.

“As has been our historical prerogative, the NLC will continue to champion the cause of good governance, inclusive growth, sustainable development and social justice. We will pay serious attention to the attributes that define good governance such as accountability, transparency, inclusion, rule of law, effective and efficient allocation of resources and popular participation in public governance. We shall insist that these attributes are not only restored as cardinal bearings in our body polity but also respected especially through institutional reforms including the reform of the electoral space.”


Economic recovery and resilience

“As a patriotic organization, the Nigeria Labour Congress will in 2021 continue to pursue programs that would engender economic recovery and resilience, especially after the backlashes of the COVID-19 outbreak. We will continue to promote backward integration policies that place premium attention on the use of local resources including domestic skills and expertise in optimizing our raw materials value chain.

“The COVID-19 crisis makes our appeal more pertinent now than ever. No country develops by being the dumping ground for other people’s creativity and enterprise. We must evolve sound policies and put in place the infrastructure that facilitate the production and distribution of “Made in Nigeria” goods. This way, we will even our trade balance, strengthen the Naira, create sustainable jobs, improve the living conditions of our people and accumulate wealth for genuine economic diversification. Our starting point must be the recovery of our national oil refineries as agreed with the government. This will save us the severe hemorrhage that our economy is subjected to”, Wabba said.


Strengthening tripartite relations

On tripartite relations, he said: “for the sake of industrial harmony, progress and sustainable development, we invite all the social partners to clap with both hands to the music of dignity of labour, fair allocation of proceeds of production and. social justice.

“In 2021, we expect the strengthening of our national labour administration, especially through improvement in labour inspection and social tripartism including collective bargaining and a just dispute resolution mechanism that is fair to all social partners. It would be easier to achieve all these through progressive labour law reform and institutionalization of tripartite social dialogue processes.”


Overcoming COVID-19

“Finally, we must all brace up to what could be the last frontier of the struggle against the novel coronavirus disease in 2021. The resurgence of COVID-19 in many countries of the world, especially with the discovery of new strains of the virus calls for measured but concerted response by governments globally. The occupational safety and health of workers, especially frontline workers, must continue to receive the deserved attention from public authorities. We renew our calls for the provision of adequate personal protective equipment, conducive work environment and enabling compensation cum health hazard allowances for workers who risk their lives to keep us safe and well”, he said.

NATIONAL coordinator of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, Dr Sani Aliyu, has said the nation is expected to receive its first batch of the COVID-19 vaccines by the end of this month.

Aliyu made the disclosure as a guest on ARISE News, on Sunday. Upon receipt of the vaccines, Aliyu said vaccination of the public, especially those that are vulnerable, the elderly…


Rays of the afternoon sun pelted her head as she fanned the embers beneath the half-cut iron drum with the smoke permeating the air. “This smoke is unbearable, Iya Maria,” said one of the three neighbours conversing under a makeshift shed about five meters away. Their voices rose and fell intermittently…

The International Criminal Court (ICC) has disclosed that it’s conducting a preliminary investigation into the recent #EndSARS protests in Nigeria, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) reported on Wednesday.



Nigerian Gov’t reduces fuel price amid pressure from Labour


The ex-depot price is the price at which the product is sold by the PPMC to marketers at the depots.

The Federal Government has reduced the pump price of premium motor spirit otherwise know as petrol from N168 per litre to N162.44 per litre effective from December 14, 2020.

Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige told reporters at the end of a meeting with labour leaders which began at 9pm on Monday and ended at 1:30am on Tuesday.

The product presently sells at N168, following the decision of the Petroleum Products Marketing Company, a subsidiary of the Federal Government – owned Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation to increase the ex-depot price of petrol from N147.67 per litre to N155.17 per litre in November.


The minister said a technical committee has been set up by the larger house to ensure price stability in the industry.

Ngige stated that the committee, which will report back to the lager house on the 25 of January next year, will be appraising the market forces and every other thing that will make for stability in the industry.



NLC meeting with Gov’t over fuel, electricity hike ends in deadlock


The labour union walked out of the meeting barely five minutes after it started.

Labour union representatives yesterday staged a walk-out from a meeting with the Nigerian Government.


The president of the Trade Union Congress, TUC, Quadri Olaleye, told Channels Television that the hike in the price of fuel and electricity tariffs were top on the meeting agenda and not issues of palliatives.


He accused the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government of dishonesty and painting the organised labour in a bad light before the general public.

Olaleye said, “This meeting is not going to be as usual. Why, because we have seen the insincerity of the government and it’s putting us at risk. They are taking us for a ride, which cannot continue.

“We are in the process of discussing, for over three months now. And they made an announcement increasing the fuel price again. And no other person than NNPC. When has authority been given to NNPC to increase the price of PMS? This is unacceptable.


“The meeting agenda is not well prioritised. And because of that, we are leaving the meeting. We will not continue, we will go back to our organ, and we are going to get back to you on the next line of action.”

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, represented the Federal Government alongside the Minister of State for Labour, Festus Keyamo, Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva, Minister of state for power, Goddy Agba and the Secretary to the Government, Boss Mustapha.

The NLC was represented by Najeem Yasin, its Deputy President.



Reps meet with NLC, TUC over alleged strike.


The House of Representatives has waded into the crisis between the Federal Government and the organised labour over the recent hikes in the pump price of Premium Motor Spirit (petrol) and electricity tariff.

The Nigerian Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress had jointly declared their readiness to embark on a nationwide strike and protests to compel the Federal Government to reverse the hikes. The hikes had generated nationwide criticism.

The Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, on Sunday met with President of the NLC, Ayuba Wabba; and his TUC counterpart, Quadri Olaleye, among others.

Both Wabba and Gbajabiamila decried that the negotiations between the government and the workers to prevent the imminent strike had failed.


“We, in the House of Representatives, are on the same page with you,” the Speaker told the labour leaders.

Gbajabiamila, however, warned against the dire consequences of shutting down the government at this time, urging the workers to suspend the planned action.

Olaleye hailed the Speaker for always intervening in labour matters.

The meeting has now gone behind closed doors.


FG begs Labour to withdraw begun strike as it will inflict more pain on Nigerians.


The Federal Government on Saturday appealed to organised Labour to shelve its planned strike, saying it will only bring more hardship to ordinary Nigerians.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, made the appeal in Lagos at a meeting with the Online Publishers Association of Nigeria

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN reports that the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC), and its affiliate unions had called on workers to embark on an indefinite industrial action on Monday over the price of petrol and electricity tariff.

Mohammed, however, said the two necessary price adjustments in the petroleum and power sectors were inevitable because of dwindling resources as the country had lost 60 per cent of its revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

He disclosed that the Federal Government spent N10.4 trillion on fuel subsidy from 2006 to 2009 and N1.7 trillion to supplement electricity tariff in less than five years


The minister reiterated that the government can no longer afford the cost of the subsidies, especially under the prevailing economic conditions.

“Revenues and foreign exchange earnings by the government have fallen by almost 60 percent due to the downturn in the fortunes of the oil sector.

“There is no provision for subsidy in the revised 2020 budget. So where will the subsidy money come from?

“Remember that despite the massive fall in revenues, the government still has to sustain expenditures, especially on salaries and capital projects,” he said.


According to the minister, citizens are not the beneficiaries of the subsidy on petroleum products that have lasted for years.

“Between 2006 and 2019, a total of 10.4 trillion naira was spent on fuel subsidy, most of which went to fat cats who either collected subsidy for products they didn’t import or diverted the products to neighbouring countries where prices are much higher.

“Instead of subsidy, ordinary Nigerians were subjected to the scarcity of petroleum products.

“They endured incessant long queues and paid higher to get the products, thus making the subsidy ineffectual,” he said.


The minister added that due to the problems with the largely-privatised electricity industry, the government had been supporting the industry.

“To keep the industry going, the government has so far spent almost N1.7 trillion especially by way of supplementing tariff shortfalls.

“The government does not have the resources to continue along this path.

“To borrow just to subsidise generation and distribution, which are both privatised, will be grossly irresponsible,” he said.


Mohammed added that in order to protect the large majority of Nigerians who cannot afford to pay cost-reflective tariffs from increases, only customers with a guaranteed minimum of 12 hours of electricity would have their tariffs adjusted.

He said the industry regulator, Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), would ensure that those who get less than 12 hours supply experience no increase.

In addressing the complaints about arbitrary estimated billing, the minister said that a mass metering programme is being undertaken to provide meters for no fewer than five million Nigerians.

According to him, the government is also taking steps to connect those Nigerians who are not connected to electricity at all.


“As you are aware, under its Economic Sustainability Plan, the government is providing solar power to five million Nigerian households in the next 12 months.

“This alone will produce 250,000 jobs and impact up to 25 million beneficiaries through the installation, thus ensuring that more Nigerians will have access to electricity via a reliable and sustainable solar system,” he said.

Reacting to the complaints on the timing of the two adjustments, Mohammed said the government is not insensitive to the plight of the citizens.


He explained that the adjustments were just a mere coincidence.


“ First, the deregulation of PMS prices was announced on March 18, 2020, and the price modulation that took place at the beginning of this month was just part of the on-going monthly adjustments to global crude oil prices.

“Also, the review of service-based electricity tariffs was scheduled to start at the beginning of July 2020 but was put on hold so that further studies and proper arrangements can be made.

“Like Mr President said at the opening of the last ministerial retreat, this government is not insensitive to the current economic difficulties our people are going through and the very tough economic situation we face as a nation.

“We certainly will not inflict hardship on our people. But we are convinced that if we stay focused on our plans, brighter and more prosperous days will come soon,” he said


He said the deregulation of the petroleum sector would save the country trillions of Naira which could be used to provide modern infrastructure for the benefit of the people.

Mohammed added that the deregulation would spur investments in the petroleum industry, especially in the building of local refineries which would result in lower fuel prices.

He also noted that the service-based electricity tariff adjustment and the ongoing work by a German company, Siemens, to boost power supply in Nigeria would help end the perennial power problem in the country.

The minister thanked Nigerians for their understanding and appealed to them to bear with the government.


[Nigeria] NLC takes final decision on electricity tariff increase, fuel hike.


The Nigeria Labour Congress meets today to take final decision on fuel price hike and electricity tariff increase.

This comes as TUC insists its seven-day ultimatum to the Federal Government stands. The ultimatum was handed down to the Federal Government to reverse the increases.

Also the organised labour has told the Federal Government it will not go into any negotiation with it until the increased price of petrol and electricity tariff are reversed.

The President of Trade Union Congress (TUC), Quadri Olaleye, stated the position of workers yesterday at a dialogue on the economy between the organised labour and the Federal Government.

This is as the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, insisted that the Federal Government could not have held discussion with labour before taking a policy decision.


Olaleye got the support of the General Secretary of National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE), Joe Ajaero, who is also a deputy president of the NLC. He lamented that the involvement of workers came after the Federal Government had taken the decision to increase prices.

“We think the Federal Government is speaking to us now and not speaking with us. If the government wants to engage us, it ought to have called for a meeting where issues would be looked at dispassionately and positions arrived at. Why would government think increment would automatically lead to improvement in electricity to Nigerians? This latest increment is the fifth since the power sector was privatised. Did that lead to the improved power supply? In fact, each increase shows the power sector might have been hijacked.

What we have seen emerging is the emergence of private sector monopoly, which is more terrible than public sector monopoly. Therefore, for us, there is no basis for this latest increment,” he stated.

President of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Ayuba Wabba

The President of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Ayuba Wabba, observed that with the huge burden already placed on citizens by COVID-19, fuel price hike would drive a final nail into the coffin of dying masses.


He said, “Government cannot continue to push the people to the wall with increases in utility bills. We should ensure we refine products locally to push the price of petrol down and create jobs. Government cannot hand over our commonwealth to the private sector. We must look at other policy options to address the issue of subsidy. We are here without anything concrete for the people. We are asking government what it has for the people?”

In his contribution, the TUC President urged the Federal Government to cut down on emoluments of public officers and lawmakers.

Explaining the need for deregulation and the resultant price hike, Sylva stated that between 2016 and 2019, Nigeria lost N1 billion every day.

MEANWHILE, the independent petroleum products marketers have accused the Federal Government of deliberately hampering the country’s refineries to impoverish the masses.


The marketers, comprising members of the independent marketers branch of NUPENG, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), and tanker drivers, staged a protest yesterday at the Port Harcourt refinery, demanding the sack of the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mele Kyari, over alleged inability to fix the refineries.

A leader of the protesters and Chairman independent marketers branch of NUPENG, Uche Uduwo, described as an aberration the failure of refineries to function.

“We cannot understand why the four refineries in Nigeria cannot be put to active work, when we have crude oil in the country. They go outside the country to bring petroleum products and when they do that, they send the products to private tanks. We cannot accept it any longer. We are dying; members of the public are dying.

Why should government facility be left to rot and private tank farm owners are living large? We will no longer accept it,” he said.


Udowo lamented that Port Harcourt depots had been without petroleum products for inexplicable reasons.

While the IPMAN national spokesperson, Chinedu Ukadike, also lamented that the Port Harcourt refinery and its depots have been abandoned, the Chairman of Petroleum Tanker Drivers Union, Johnbosco Bosco, said it was unacceptable that people diverted products meant for the NNPC to private tank farms.

Reacting to the outcry, the ruling All progressives Congress (APC), yesterday, enjoined Nigerians to support government’s decision to remove fuel subsidy.

APC, in a statement by its Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Yekini Nabena, argued that government was not oblivious of the financial strains brought by the increase in fuel pump price and electricity rates.


Implement life insurance for aid workers – NLC asks FG


The Borno State Chapter of the Nigerian Labour Congress has asked the Federal Government to influence the implementation of insurance packages for aid workers.

The state chairman of the union, Bulama Abiso stated this at a joint press conference with Trade Unions and Civil Society Network in Maiduguri, the state capital.

The coalition said the press conference became necessary following the persistent security challenges the state is facing.

The group is seeking justice for slain aid workers while highlighting the need to prioritise their safety.


“We are calling on the Federal and State Governments, The United Nations and INGOs to consider insurance packages to partner national organisations and local staff; this will encourage indigenous citizens to continue providing humanitarian support to the affected communities,” Abiso said.

While the UN has made provision for insurance coverage for its staff, most local and international NGOs have no such packages.

The coalition also believes that resources allocated to the counter-insurgency war both at the state and federal levels are not commensurate with the realities on the ground.

“We are calling for a total overhaul of the process, system, and strategies; there is no harm in seeking external support if that is what is needed to bring peace to the region,” Abiso added.


Minimum wage: Ekiti labour declares 3-day warning strike


The organised labour in Ekiti State said on Friday it would commence a three-day warning strike from August 3.

In a statement jointly signed by the state chairmen of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC) and Joint Negotiating Council (JNC), Kolapo Olatunde, Sola Adigun and Kayode Fatomiluyi respectively in Ado Ekiti, the unions said the strike was to compel the state government to pay the outstanding salaries, allowances and pension arrears of their members.

They, therefore, directed workers across the state to proceed on the warning strike, after which, a full-blown strike would follow, if government failed to accede to their demands.

The workers are asking the state government to resolve issues including the unpaid benefits and non-implementation of the N30,000 minimum wage across board.


Others are non-payment of leave bonus from 2015 till date as well as the arrears of promotions for workers at all levels.

The statement read: “This warning strike, called by the organised labour in Ekiti, will commence on the midnight of August 3.

“The state government has yet to attend to any of our requests, such as financial promotion for 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019.


“There is no commitment to all the outstanding deductions, such as cooperative money, loan repayment to banks, housing fund and others.

“Our demands also include five years leave bonuses, hazard allowances of COVID-19 to health workers, salary arrears and deductions, all yet to be paid.

“Based on the above, the strike will commence from 12 midnight of August 3, except government attends to our demands.

“We warn that no worker should go to work or listen to any directive from any quarters, except from the leadership of the organised labour.”


ULC, NLC merge, resolve rift


The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the United Labour Congress (ULC) have settled their lingering crisis that split the labour movement in the country.

The President of NLC, Ayuba Wabba, disclosed this at a joint meeting of the two labour unions in Abuja on Thursday.

The briefing was attended by the President of the ULC, Joe Ajaero, and other executive members of the union

Mr Ajaero was announced as the new Deputy President of the NLC.

The Ajaero-led faction of NLC announced the birth of the ULC, with over 25 affiliates including some aggrieved affiliates of Trade Union Congress (TUC), on December 18, 2016.

Some of the prominent members of the ULC were the two powerful oil unions, NUPENG and PENGASSAN


Delta abducted NLC chairman regain freedom


Delta State Commissioner of Police, Mr Hafiz Inuwa confirmed the released of kidnapped Chairman of Nigeria Labour Congress, Delta State, Comrade Goodluck Ofobruku.

The state’s NLC boss was abducted around 8pm on Saturday while driving out of his house behind Immigration office along Ibusa/Asaba road, Asaba, the Delta State capital, was set free on Monday by his abductors.

Although Inuwas said that he was not aware of any payment of ransom, sources close to the NLC says otherwise.

The Secretary of the NLC in the State, Comrade Innocent Ofoyade, noted that Ofobruku was released on Monday night


He said, “Yes, we thank God that our chairman was released yesterday night, we are grateful to the state government, the police, vigilante group and all those who show concerned.

Ofoyade said, “ransom was paid but it is an undisclosed amount, and as I speak to you now, he is receiving treatment because he was injured at the process”

Commissioner of Police in Cross River state, Hafiz Inuwa

Inuwa, however, said, “We give glory to God for his released, to the best of my knowledge, no amount was paid.”

The police boss stressed that the command was intensifying efforts to arrest the suspects.



Delta NLC chairman kidnapped – Police confirm


The police have confirmed the abduction of Mr Goodluck Ofobruku, Chairman of Delta chapter of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), on Saturday night in Asaba.

The spokesperson of the state Police Command, DSP Onome Onovwakpoyeya, who confirmed the incident to newsmen on Sunday in Asaba, said that Ofobruku was a victim of armed robbery before he was kidnapped at gunpoint.

“The incident was a case of armed robbery and abduction. The gunmen were robbing in the street when the labour leader was driving out of his home.

NLC Chairman, Delta State Chapter – Mr. Goodluck Ofobruku

“They intercepted his car and forcefully abducted him and took him to the nearby bush,” Onovwakpoyeya said.

The police spokesperson, however, said that the command had dispatched its operatives to comb the bushes and rescue the NLC chairman.


Ofobruku was abducted at about 8 pm. on Saturday while driving out of his house behind the Immigration office on the Ibusa/Asaba road.

The Secretary of NLC in the state, Mr Innocent Ofoyade, told journalists on Sunday that Ofobruku was driving in the congress’s official Toyota Sienna space bus before he was abducted.

“The chairman was on his way out that night to get some drugs when the incident occurred. He was intercepted by the hoodlums along his street and taken away.

“We learnt this morning (Sunday) that the abductors have yet to establish contact with the victim’s family,” Ofoyade said.



Suspensions followed due process – Ngige


The Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chris Ngige, insisted on Saturday the suspension of the Managing Director of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) Adebayo Somefun, and other top management staff of the organisation followed due process.

The minister was reacting to the claim by the Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA) that the NSITF management staff’s suspension violated the disciplinary procedure approved by the president.

President Muhammadu Buhari had on Monday ordered the indefinite suspension of Shomefun, three Executive Directors and eight other management staff of NSITF over alleged financial infractions.

The Federal Government also set up an investigative panel to look into the financial dealings by the affected officers.

Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chris Ngige

In a statement issued by the Deputy Director, Press and Publicity in the Ministry of Labour, Charles Akpan, the minister dismissed NECA’s claim on the matter.

He said the removal of the NSITF management staff followed due process, adding that it was in line with the Constitution, Public Service Rules and NSITF Act.


Ngige said: “Some of the infractions uncovered include N3.4 billion squandered on non- existent staff training split into about 196 different consultancy contracts in order to evade the Ministerial Tenders Board and Federal Executive Council (FEC) approval.

“Non-existent unexecuted N2.3 billion was documented and paid while N1.1 billion is awaiting payment without any job done, all totalling N3.4 billion.

“Same goes for projects of construction of 14 Zonal/Regional offices in 14 states running into billions of naira- a policy issue being done without board or ministerial knowledge not to talk of approval.

“This was done in 2019 by the MD and his three-man Executive. Some of the projects are duplications and hence waste of funds, yet you are in the Board supposedly supervising!”



NLC calls for Educational stakeholders meeting amid school reopening


The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has urged the Federal Government to bring all stakeholders in the education sector together to deliberate on the way forward before re-opening of schools across the country.

Mr Ayuba Wabba, NLC President, said this in a communique he signed on Friday in Abuja at the end of a joint meeting of the congress affiliates union in the education sector and the NLC Education Committee.

Wabba said the meeting was to brainstorm on measures to be put in place before schools in Nigeria could re-open given the prevalence of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

According to him, the congress is of the view that the schools should provide adequate infrastructure to ensure effective enforcement of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) protocols and guidelines on COVID-19.


“Re-opening of schools need to be done with due diligence and utmost precaution given the overcrowded nature of schools at primary, secondary and tertiary levels.

“Government should bring all stakeholders together the primary and secondary education sub-sector comprising the unions, the Nigeria Union of Teachers, Parent Teachers Association (PTA), Committee of Vice-Chancellors/Provosts of Polytechnics and Colleges of Educations.

“All Nigeria Confederation of Principals of Secondary Schools (ANCPSS) should deliberate on the way forward on re-opening of schools,” the labour leader said.

He said there was need to create a post COVID-19 re-opening plans and strategies based on the NCDC protocol and guidelines.


”There is need to re-adjust the federal budget for education and implement measures to assist institutions with financial burden of managing COVID-19,’” Wabba said.

The NLC president also said that staff of health centres in universities, polytechnics, colleges of education, secondary and primary schools teaching and non teaching staff should be trained on handling of pupils and students.

NLC President Ayuba Wabba

He noted that it was important to adopt phased/structured education activities, adjust exams and lecture or teaching time.

He called for a National Safe School policies to assist education institutions in conducting risk assessment audit of schools in the country.


He said that the outsourcing policy of security personnel and cleaners should be revisited, especially in institutions of higher learning to enable them have full control of the workers.

He added that this was very important as the private cleaners and security personnel could not guarantee the health and safety of staff and students.

“There is need to provide Protective Equipment (PPE) for health workers and other essential workers for their safety and protection.

“We call for the immediate release of intervention funds to all institutions to enable them provide needed safety measures.


“Apparently, there is need for expansion of classrooms to ensure observance of the social distancing protocol,” he said.

On crisis, Wabba appealed to the federal government to address the lingering industrial crisis in the higher institutions posed by the Integrated Payroll Personnel System (IPPIS).

He noted that the IPPIS issue has the potential of affecting any attempt at re-opening of schools.

”There is need for an elaborate plan to determine the duration of classes, and sitting arrangements to avoid infection.

“There is also need to ensure general decontamination or fumigation of entire premises and buildings, including student’s hostels, classrooms, staff offices, business premises, lecture halls/theatre, health centres and clinics.


“Additional employment of teachers to enable effective teacher student ratio based on the social distancing protocol and provision of out-door learning environment for kids,” Wabba said.

The NLC president also called for the strengthening of e-learning facilities in primary and tertiary institutions through provision of customised electronic devices to all staff and students.

”This is in order to complement traditional class settings and achieve physical distancing,” the labour leader said.

He said that internet bandwidth should be provided in all institutions and to be deployed free to members of staff and students within and around the school premises.


Wabba noted that COVID-19 committee should be put in place in schools to ensure strict compliance with protocol and guildlines of reopening schools.

“This committee will be charged with the responsibilities of ensuring strict compliance with the safety measures and enforcement of regular hand washing with water and soap and hand sanitizer.

” The committee will also enforce daily disinfection and cleaning of school surfaces and compulsory use of face masks by staff, students and visitors,” he said.

The NLC president added that the schools should put in place transparent post COVID-19 plans, including isolation of staff and student who manifest the symptoms of the disease or who have tested positive, without creating stigma around them.



Cross Rivers: NLC begins indefinite strike.


Government activities were paralysed in offices in Cross River State Monday following the indefinite strike embarked upon by the Nigeria Labour Congress.

The state chapter of the NLC led by Comrade Benedict Ukpepi had declared an indefinite strike over nonpayment of pension, gratuities, removal of names of civil servants from payroll implementation of promotion, among others.

Some agencies and offices rendered skeletal services and their workers closed early.

At the new secretariat on Murtala Mohammed Highway in Calabar, a team of NLC officials, policemen, and other security agencies were seen enforcing compliance.


The NLC chairman said, “The strike is successful. The few staff at the New Secretariat are mostly members of Trade Union Congress who cannot work without our members.”

Some offices were also shut at the Old Secretariat when newsmen visited the place in the morning.

There was confusion initially over the strike as the TUC pulled out of the industrial action, citing wrong timing amid the COVID-19 pandemic.



Minimum wage: NLC suspend planned strike in Kebbi after agreement

The Organised Labour in Kebbi has announced the immediate suspension of its strike notice, which was to take effect on Tuesday over delay in the implementation of the national minimum wage. The strike notice was issued on February 27, 2020.

The State Chairman of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Umar Alhassan, said the strike notice had been withdrawn as the state government had agreed to the workers’ demands.

Alhassan made the announcement while briefing newsmen after the union’s Executive Council meeting in Birnin Kebbi on Monday.

“The state government has agreed with our demands on minimum wage and consequential adjustment, payment of 2019 leave grant, annual increment and payment of retirement benefits.

“The government has agreed to set up a committee on minimum wage and consequential adjustments and will be inaugurated today.

“On 2019 leave grant, the state government workers from GL 1 – 6 are going to receive their grant today.

“On annual increment, by the end of this month, our members are going to receive their payment while on retirement benefits a standing committee will commence sorting out of genuine members and process their payment soon,” he said.

Alhassan appealed to civil servants on Grade Level 7 and above to exercise patience, saying the payment of their leave grant would commence soon.

“In as much as we want our members to have a conducive working environment and atmosphere, we will not be unmindful with the present reality of the situation.

“The civil servants on GL. 7 and above will not be getting their leave grant today, due to paucity of funds, as said by the government representatives in the discussion.

“We have agreed that civil servants on those grade levels will get their own later,” the chairman said.


VAT: BEDC improve power supply

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) yesterday said it would mobilise Nigerians to resist any form of increment in the electricity tariff, be it in form of Value Added Tax (VAT) or others.

This is even as it said it has nothing to do with the ongoing public hearing on the proposed increase in the electricity tariff across the country.

President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Ayuba Wabba, who spoke in Lagos yesterday warned that the labour centre would not support any increase in the electricity tariff as it would further impoverish Nigerians.

Continue reading VAT: BEDC improve power supply

Kogi: NLC assure workers minimum wage payment

The Chairman, Nigeria Labour Congress, Kogi chapter Comrade Onuh Edokah charges workers in the state to remain resolute as the state government has set up machinery to tackle all issues surrounding the payment of minimum wage in the state.

Edokah gave the charge on Wednesday during the 7th Quadrennial state delegates conference of the Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria (MHWUN) , Kogi state chapter.

The NLC boss while speaking to newsmen at the venue of the congress urged civil servants in the state to expect a better deal from government, saying the union was still negotiating with government and hopeful of getting desired result at the end of negotiations.

“The state government has set up a committee to look into the payment of 30,000 naira minimum wage to workers of the state.

“We are hoping that by the end of the thirty days government gave the committee, they will come out with a chat that will be the true position of the minimum wage in Kogi state and we are expecting a win-win situation”, he assured.

Edokah who handed over the leadership of MHWUN to the newly elected Exco, said his ten years in the saddle of the union as chairman witnessed a lot of transformation , stressing that he was leaving the union better than he met it.

He therefore urged the new Exco to take the welfare of members as paramount , saying any union executive that failed in providing adequate welfare of its members would end up throwing the union into unbearable situation.

“I am leaving the union with a lot of legacies. The workers which I led in health worker’s union enjoyed the benefit of various structures of their salaries . I was the Chairman of the union through out the transformation of various salary structures and I ensure that the government pay workers their salaries” he noted.

At the end of the congress that lasted three hours, Comrade Amari Gabriel emerged as Chairman through consensus while Alilu Adejoh was elected as Vice Chairman, Kashim Abonika as Treasurer, Salaudeen Yakubu, State Trustee, Badams Kadiri, Auditor and Ajisafe Oluwatoyin as the Public Relations Officer.

Comrade Gabriel in his acceptance speech promised that his administration would not relent in moving the union to a greater height.

While commending the immediate past leadership of the union for laying a worthy legacy for the incoming executive, the new chairman solicited the cooperation and support of members to achieve success.


Government don’t give job, don’t rely on Nigerian government – Ngige Chris

Nigeria’s Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, has asked Nigerian youths to seek other means of employment as the government cannot provide everyone with jobs.

Chris Ngige reveals

A statement released by the Deputy Director/Head of Press of the ministry, Charles Akpan, said the minister stated this during a Town hall Meeting on Popularization of blue/green collar jobs among graduates of tertiary institutions in Nigeria, which was held in Edo State.

Ngige who was represented at the event by the Director, Special Duties and Projects Department in the ministry, Martina Nwordu, said told the young graduates that the wealthiest youths in the world at present were not government employees.

The minister also urged Nigerian youths to invest their talent in other job sectors, as the richest youth of the world, aged between 21 and 31 years, are not employees of government but smart entrepreneurs who distinguished themselves in creative skills in various areas.

The minister disclosed that the purpose of the meeting, which held concurrently in four other geo-political zones of the federation, was to sensitise representatives of key stakeholders in graduate employment on the benefits of blue/green-collar jobs as an alternative response to the challenges of graduate unemployment.


Minimum wage: NLC gives Anambra a 14-Day Ultimatum

The organized labour in Anambra State on Monday gave the state government a 14- day ultimatum to implement the new minimum wage or be prepared to face industrial action.

At an emergency meeting of the state executive council of the organised labour in Awka, the unionists expressed dissatisfaction with the implementation of the January 24 agreement with the government on the issue.

The state chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress, (NLC), Jerry Nnubia said what is being implemented fell short of what the labour negotiated with the government.

He said ..

“The SEC decided to meet on the issue and took the necessary decision. We are dissatisfied and we frown at the decision of the government to renege on the agreement.

“We hereby give the government a 14- day ultimatum from today, after which the organized labour would not guarantee industrial harmony in the state.

“The state government did not follow the agreed chart with the organized labour in the state and as far as we are concerned, the difference we saw in the salaries of workers in January was just a bonus which government decided to give to workers.”


Minimum wage: NLC not to sign agreement that will lead to retrenchment

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in Ondo State says the organised labour will not sign any new minimum wage agreement the will impoverish or lead to retrenchment of the workforce.

The state NLC Chairman, Mr Sunday Adeleye-Oluwole, said this in an interview with newsmen on Wednesday in Akure.

Adeleye-Oluwole explained that negotiations over the new minimum wage, which had hitherto been suspended, had now resumed and that it was 85 percent concluded, saying “the process may be concluded before the end of this week.”

According to him, the delay in minimum wage approval and implementation in the state is due to the insistence of the organised labour, led by JNC, NLC and TUC, to get better package for the workers and pensioners.

The NLC chairman noted that the new salary tables presented by the state government were being critically studied to ensure that the agreed new salaries would be sustainable and not lead to irregular payment and mass retrenchment.

Adeleye-Oluwole assured that the new minimum wage would capture special allowances for the media, judiciary, parliamentary and health workers.

He appealed to the state workforce to exercise more patience, as negotiation was now at a final stage.

“The negotiation is not led by NLC but by the Joint Negotiating Council (NJC) as directed by the national headquarters of NLC and TUC.

“We are just supporting the JNC, and that was what we had been doing. I want to say that in the last two months, the JNC, in its wisdom, had set up negotiation committee and ever since then, we have met more than seven times.

“So, JNC has the final say concerning this minimum wage issue. But as at now, going by what happened yesterday (Tuesday), we have got to 85 percent completion.

“Also, pensioners are being carried along, because we believe that all of us will become pensioners one day.

“From what I have been following, I can say that before this week runs out, we should be able to come out with specific tables and we are working on five different tables for the judiciary, the parliament and media workers.

“For our counterparts in the health sector and the services, they have their own peculiar allowances. So we are working now on five structures, and when we include pensioners, it becomes six.

“In the spirit of negotiation, what we really need is to know the data; how much is coming from Ondo State, which we have got, and we also look at the present salary wage bill,” he said.

On payment of arrears to workers by the state government, the NLC chairman explained that it would be discussed after the conclusion of the minimum wage negotiation.

“My advice to JNC, as NLC leader, is that it should not sign what can lead to retrenchment of our members, because I don’t have the final position; it’s JNC that has the final position on the new minimum wage,” he said.


Implementation of minimum wage cannot be negotiated – NLC

…draws battle line with unwilling states

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has warned three states yet to make any concrete moves to open discussion on the consequential adjustment of the minimum wage of N30,000.

NLC President, Ayuba Wabba issued the warning, yesterday, when he appeared on a national television.

The affected states are Kogi, Cross River and Taraba which he said should be ready for a showdown with the labour movement.

He announced that 23 states have taken considerable steps to resolve the issues of consequential adjustment of the minimum wage through negotiation with their respective labour leaders.

He commended 10 states that had started paying the minimum wage with its consequential adjustment, insisting that the law, which fixed the minimum wage must be respected by all the state governments.

Wabba said it was gratifying that the Federal Government had started paying the arrears of the new wage from April last year when the law was enacted.

He added that the leadership of labour decided to monitor developments at state levels to avoid situations whereby workers will be offered peanuts.

The NLC president stated that it was the reason the state chapters were encouraged to go into negotiations where facts on revenue profile of the state would be laid on the table for the tripartite committee to deliberate on and arrive at a conclusion.

Wabba said as at yesterday, no state had come to say it could not pay the minimum wage.

He said that the leadership of the two trade unions, the NLC and TUC (Trade Union Congress) would be meeting with the joint-negotiation team to review development in all the states this week.

But organised labour in Nasarawa State, yesterday, threatened to boycott the inauguration of the committee set up to negotiate the new minimum wage, unless arrears of promotion, salaries and pension owed workers were cleared.

Daily Sun learnt that the government suspended the inauguration of the committee.

Nasarawa NLC Chairman, Yusuf Sarki Iya, told Daily Sun that government was still negotiating the issue of minimum wage with workers.

He said labour in the state had made it clear that if the backlog of arrears were not cleared, it would not honor invitations to discuss the minimum wage with government.

“We were invited for the inauguration of the minimum wage committee only to be told by the Head of Service that the inauguration has been put on hold. Our concern is the implementation of the pending promotion, salary arrears and pension before discussing the minimum wage

“We have been waiting patiently for the government, the NLC will not see industrial action as an option, but will not hesitate to engage the government when it becomes imperative,” Iya said.

Nasarawa Head of service, Nicholas Aboki, denied knowledge of the wage committee’s inauguration. He said he was surprised when labour stormed his office for the ceremony.

However, Plateau government said significant progress has been made in its negotiations with labour unions.

Commissioner of Information and Communication, Mr. Dan Manjang, described the current stage of negotiations as peaceful and encouraging.

“We first began the process by setting up a committee led by Mr. Luka Fwangyil, a former Head of Service, to negotiate with labour on the consequential adjustments as directed by the Federal Government based on the peculiarity, sustainability and capacity of each state. Today, I will be proud to tell you that that a singular step we took is paying, as things are going smoothly towards agreeing on what to pay our most cherished workers. I want to put the record straight to the citizens of Plateau that this government is committed to the welfare of its workers and will do all it could to achieve that at all costs.”

He appealed to workers and the unions to “remain calm while negotiations are ongoing, pending the recommendation of same.”

He said that any attempt to distract the government from discharging its constitutional responsibilities to the people of the state would fail.


Minimum wage: Labour Congress set to tackle state Governor that failed Dec.31 deadline.

…Ogun finalises talks with union

…Osun inaugurates committee on implementation

…Minister assures of commitments to workers’ welfare

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) is set to tackle governors who failed to meet the December 31 deadline for the implementation of the New Minimum Wage.

In his New Year message, NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, asked state councils to await directive on the next line of action.

“In tandem with our position as adopted and communicated after a stakeholders’ meeting on Dec.ember 11, 2019, organised labour will not guarantee industrial harmony in states that fail to implement the new national minimum wage by December 31, 2019.

“We direct our state councils to be on the standby to robustly engage state governments that fail to obey our laws. We wish to remind state governors that no excuse would be good enough for failure to pay.

“The ongoing revelations on the monumental looting perpetrated by former governors prove that only an intent to loot and deadened conscience, not availability of resources, would be the reason any Governor would hesitate to pay workers the N30,000 new national minimum wage and the consequential adjustment in salaries.

“The new national minimum wage is now a law and State Governors do not have the luxury to choose whether to pay or not.”

He commend states already paying the new national minimum wage and consequential adjustment in salaries for assuming the pacesetter status.

Wabba said in 2020, the NLC would mount a robust campaign for the generation of mass jobs and for already existing jobs to be decent.

He disclosed that NLC was perfecting plans for a National Job Summit in 2020 where it will get stakeholders, experts, policymakers, concerned demographics and workers on a roundtable to find answers and solutions to Nigeria’s burgeoning unemployment crisis.

The NLC president said the congress have resolved to protect, promote and prioritise workers’ and pensioners welfare.

He also said the congress would continue to be the voice for the oppressed and downtrodden.

“We will dare the enemies of Nigerian workers and people and we will triumph by the grace of God. Nigerian workers under the leadership of the NLC will continue to work assiduously towards the promotion of national security, peace and unity.

“We will continue to put the needed weight on the things that unite us and hold in contempt the things that seek to divide us.”

To avert industrial crisis, Governor Gboyega Oyetola of Osun has inaugurated a committee to work out modalities for the implementation.

Spokesman for the governor, Ismail Omipidan, in a statement in Osogbo said Oyetola inaugurated the committee on Tuesday.

The governor urged members of the committee to ensure they arrived at a reasonable amount of increment that would ensure government continued to pay salaries as and when due.

Oyetola, who said his administration would work through the committee to arrive at a soft landing that would be pleasing to both workers and government, commended labour leaders and the entire workforce for their cooperation and sense of understanding in the last one year.

“I thank the leadership of labour for their level of cooperation in the last one year. You made my transition from Chief of Staff to governor very simple. The welfare of workers is very important to me. That’s why we pay their salaries promptly and in full.

“We’re committed to paying the new minimum wage. But we need to now double up our IGR. It is very important to collectively drive the IGR because it is the only source for payment of the minimum wage.

“Thank God we’ve spent one year without rancour, no strike. We’ll work together to have a safe landing that will be acceptable to the two parties. I’m delighted to see this committee being inaugurated.”

Oyetola also gave an assurance that nothing would stop him from payment of full salaries as and when due.

Chairman, Joint Negotiation Council (JNC), Bayo Adejumo, gave an assurance that labour leaders would cooperate with government in the negotiation.

On his part, Ogun Governor, Dapo Abiodun, said his administration was in the final stage of discussion with abour on the implementation of the new minimum wage.

Abiodun made the disclosure in his New Year message, yesterday.

He noted that the state’s public service remained the engine room of government and a critical stakeholder, pointing out that the recent appointment of eight permanent secretaries in the state civil service would strengthen the bureaucracy to effectively and efficiently perform its function as the engine room of government.

Meanwhile, Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, has demanded from workers honesty and diligence in service, while assuring of government’s commitments to their welfare.

Ngige said the understanding showed by workers over the challenges the Federal Government faced in repositioning the economy and sanitising the polity since 2015 was commendable, adding that the Federal Government has in appreciation made enormous sacrifices to protect the workers and secure their future.

“The workforce we inherited in 2015 was one seriously demoralised by decade long unpaid salaries and allowances; a restive workforce with simmering agitations and perennial threats of strike. It was a workforce challenged down by private sector retrenchments and varying unfair labour practices.